Earlier this month, fiction writer Lionel Shriver made headlines when she delivered a speech to the Brisbane Writer’s Festival (which most of her online critics had probably never heard of) and said she hoped “the concept of cultural appropriation is a passing fad.”

She explained that being told we cannot appropriate other cultures – like wearing sombreros at fiesta-themed parties – will ultimately harm fiction writers. “The moral of the sombrero scandals is clear: You’re not supposed to try on other people’s hats,” Shriver said. “Yet that’s what we’re paid to do, isn’t it? Step into other people’s shoes, and try on their hats.” (Emphasis original.)

She went on to talk about college campuses and how people are no longer allowed to do anything that is associated with particular identities. These words offended one woman, Yassmin Abdel-Magied, a Sudanese-born Australian engineer and memoirist, so much that she stormed out and gave an interview to the Guardian.

(One thing about millennials, which Abdel-Magie is, and outrage, is that they have to let everyone know they’re outraged and get attention for themselves in the process.)

Now Shriver has responded to the controversy with an op-ed in the New York Times. She said she worried that the point of her speech — about how constraining fiction writers to only write about their own personal experiences would destroy fiction — would be “so self-evident” that it would be “bland.”

“Viewing the world and the self through the prism of advantaged and disadvantaged groups, the identity-politics movement — in which behavior like huffing out of speeches and stirring up online mobs is par for the course — is an assertion of generational power,” Shriver wrote.

“Among millenials [sic] and those coming of age behind them, the race is on to see who can be more righteous and aggrieved — who can replace the boring old civil rights generation with a spikier brand.”

This, Shriver wrote, has made the Left now the “oppressor,” the ones who enforce conformity. Shriver said she is a “lifelong Democratic voter” but is “dismayed by the radical Left’s ever-growing list of dos and don’ts — by its impulse to control, to instill self-censorship as well as to promote real censorship, and to deploy sensitivity as an excuse to be brutally insensitive to any perceived enemy.”

She said all the “frenzies” surrounding claims of cultural appropriation, trigger warnings, microaggressions and safe spaces are “overtly crazy” and will push people toward GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump.

Trump: Congress should force colleges to reduce tuition costs

Also from the Washington Examiner

Trump has said relatively little throughout his campaign about the student debt crisis and tuition costs.

09/23/16 10:57 AM

I agree.

Ashe Schow is a commentary writer for the Washington Examiner.

Nervous Dems move to shore up Philadelphia for Clinton

Top Story

In Pennsylvania’s most populous city, Clinton will overwhelmingly beat Donald Trump.

09/23/16 12:01 AM



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